Jan 18, 2014

Voter ID Laws Are GOP Weapons Protected in the Voting Rights Act Amendment

Stop voting and quit trying to pass your
selves off as real Americans, says GOP.
Get the message.
Update: North Carolina NAACP Blasts VRA Amendment - "A preliminary examination of the proposed provisions of this legislation convinces us that it falls woefully short of what is needed to protect all people from race-based efforts to curtail the voting potential of people of color."

From Talking Points Memo comes a link to a study on GOP Voter Obstruction that, to borrow from the late Stephen Jay Gould, establishes the fact of Repulbican Party voter obstruction "so overwhelmingly supported by the evidence that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent."

Notes Tova Andrea Wang:
Important new empirical research published in December in the journal Perspectives on Politics by Keith G. Bentele and Erin E. Obrien at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, however, shines a bright light on just how crass this effort has been and how clear the motives of the Republican state lawmakers have been in proposing and passing laws that would deny eligible citizens the right to vote.

See Jim Crow 2.0? Why States Consider and Adopt Restrictive Voter Access Policies by
Keith G. Bentelea and Erin E. O'Briena.

This suggests that the new Voting Rights Act Amendment ought not protect states' restrictive voter ID laws, as the proposed Amendment does now, sneaked into the act by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-White People).

Rational policy making from Washington is rare, fraudulent action by Sensenbrenner is common.

Abstract - from Bentelea and O'Briena:
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in state legislation likely to reduce access for some voters, including photo identification and proof of citizenship requirements, registration restrictions, absentee ballot voting restrictions, and reductions in early voting. Political operatives often ascribe malicious motives when their opponents either endorse or oppose such legislation. In an effort to bring empirical clarity and epistemological standards to what has been a deeply-charged, partisan, and frequently anecdotal debate, we use multiple specialized regression approaches to examine factors associated with both the proposal and adoption of restrictive voter access legislation from 2006–2011. Our results indicate that proposal and passage are highly partisan, strategic, and racialized affairs. These findings are consistent with a scenario in which the targeted demobilization of minority voters and African Americans is a central driver of recent legislative developments. We discuss the implications of these results for current partisan and legal debates regarding voter restrictions and our understanding of the conditions incentivizing modern suppression efforts. Further, we situate these policies within developments in social welfare and criminal justice policy that collectively reduce electoral access among the socially marginalized.
After the GOP retook the Wisconsin legislature in 2010, one of the Party’s first bills introduced in 2011 is the photo ID bill that would "mean folks without driver’s licenses – disproportionately poor, minority, or elderly, would not be able to vote." (Neil Heinen, WISC TV)

Wisconsin is not alone, and voter obstruction laws have only increased since Wisconsin's voter obstruction operative, Reince Priebus, took over as the RNC National Chair in 2011.

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